Saturday May 5- Our 1st day in Zimbabwe!

After flying for 34 hours, enduring a 9 hour layover in London and having had a short stop in Johannesburg (the shopping is great in that airport- I would have stayed there for 9 hours if we had the choice!), we had finally arrived in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. Alex and I were adjusting to an 8 hour time change and were just looking for a soft enough surface to sleep on, when we were greeted by Anne Williamson.  Anne, who at this point in our trip seemed like an angel, was our liaison with Antelope Park while we were in Harare.  She greeted us each with a welcoming hug and ushered us to her vehicle where she loaded our 3 travel bags and 2 carry-ons into her small compact car.

She drove us through the city for about half an hour asking us questions about what we were most excited to do and see while we were in Zimbabwe.  Unfortunately, at this point, Alex and I were hardly coherent and were barely able to articulate a response to her questions.  We finally arrived at a quaint home that was surrounded by cement walls and had a gate at the entrance.  This home, which was being cared for by Denise (while the actually owners were away on vacation) and staff, was our accommodations for the night.  It was a single floor home with multiple bedrooms and a pool, which played host to many travellers.  It was about 2pm in the afternoon and the weather was warm so Alex and I went and spent some time at the pool with our two host dogs.  Shortly after, we had a much-anticipated shower and dinner, and were in bed by 6pm so that we could catch up some of the hours of lost sleep.

During the night, we were woken up several times.  We were in a new country, half way across the world, and in some unfamiliar lady's home so it was natural to feel somewhat uneasy about everything, especially with heightened emotions caused by lack of sleep.  But our restless sleep was not caused by own anxiety.  Instead, the house alarm kept going off and at one point, Denise had locked herself out of the house and had to wake Alex and I up so that we could unlock the door for her to get back in.  In Denise's defence, this was not her house and she was unsure about how to turn the alarm off, so it just kept sounding, so the dogs would keep barking, and Denise would keep talking on the phone trying to find out what to do.  Eventually, the alarm would turn off, Alex and I would settle back in to our beds, and hope that the next time we woke up, there would some sort of daylight outside of the window.

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